Today is the day! It’s been a long wait after the ten songs competing at Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) 2017 were released over two months ago. Today it’s finally time to find out who will represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — reviewed all the competing songs over the past two weeks. Now it’s time to go through the results and see who is our favourite to win UMK17.

You can check out snippets of our reviews below. If you click the song title, you can get to our full review.

1. Emma – “Circle of Light” (8.59)

Positive: Rakas, we are fine. Emma — slayer of spiritual out-of-this-world bangers — has a chance of making the top ten in Kyiv. It’s the first song that’s made me feel this way this year. Her strong and compelling vocals combined with a well-crafted instrumental make me feel like I’m safe in her circle of light. It gives me life. (Bernardo)

Negative: However, the reason why I can’t give “Circle of Light” more than seven points is that it reminds me too much of last year’s Icelandic entry “Hear Them Calling”. Although I liked that song, I found it too repetitive, and I have the same issue with Emma’s number. But maybe this year the audience will appreciate Emma’s effort more than Greta Salóme’s. (Jovana)

2. Alva – “Arrows” (6.97)

Positive: Amazing production, catchy melody and a rising star with a beautiful voice. This is a pop masterpiece, a real gem. I can hardly find anything bad to say about this. I could totally see this doing well in the actual contest as well. (Sami)

Negative: My only concern is that the song can feel a little repetitive — even the music video couldn’t manage to cover up the sameness. (Robyn)

3. Norma John – “Blackbird” (6.79)

Positive: I’m completely mesmerized. Such a beautiful production. So low key, so simple, but so strong, and the instrumental part just sent shivers down my spine. And Leena’s soft and heavenly voice is the icing on the cake here. (Kristin)

Negative: 30 seconds into this I had to check if I still had a pulse, as the song just loops monotonously until a rather long instrumental break. It sounds like a mash-up of Elisabeth Andreassen’s Melodifestivalen 2011 song “Vaken I En Dröm” (which finished last in its semi) and a song they’d play in a made-for-TV movie about senior citizens. I appreciate the beauty here. But sometimes beauty needs a bit of ugliness and grit to make it memorable. (William)

4. Lauri Yrjölä – “Helppo elämä” (6.35)

Positive: Everything works. The production is edgy and modern, combining guitar with electronic sounds. Lauri has so much attitude in his vocals that it doesn’t matter he’s singing in a language most Eurovision viewers wouldn’t understand. The chorus is ridiculously catchy and is what keeps sending me back to the replay button. This is UMK at its best. (Robyn)

Negative: After a solid start, this song gives us the cheapest chorus you could hope for. I’ve heard this three thousand times before and Lauri’s entry comes across as highly unoriginal. The song is trying to be very 2017 but it ends up being swallowed in the masses of 2016. As much as I love hearing non-English songs at Eurovision, Finland would do well to stick with one of their English options. (Antranig)

5. Anni Saikku – “Reach Out for the Sun” (6.21)

Positive: Anni’s voice is everything. Deep, sexy and inviting, it gets me hooked from the very first note. “Reach Out for the Sun” is lyrically so well constructed that I might forget how instrumentally weak the chorus is. I wouldn’t mind seeing this at Eurovision, but there are at least two better songs. (Bernardo)

Negative: Build, build, build, build and then… destroy everything you did in the past minute because the chorus is the flattest thing ever. Anni has a sultry voice, and she manages to get you into the song in the verses, but then the chorus comes and everything vanishes. I’d even say it’s lazy — it’s a pop-drop taken to its maximum, and that’s not what a Eurovision entry needs. As we say in Spain, it feels as if Anni had horchata instead of blood running through her veins. (Luis)

6. Günther & D’Sanz – “Love Yourself” (5.18)

Positive: From the pornstache to the aviator sunglasses to the saucy lyrics, Günther proves himself to be the master of the burgeoning gigolo discotheque genre. On the surface his song is a high-octane ode to hedonism and masturbation. But in instructing us to love ourselves and feel a little pleasure, he also suggests we should live each moment to the fullest and seize the day (if not the hot guy at the bar). Look past the sleaze and you’ll find an anthem of empowerment. (William)

Negative: “Baila el Chiki” mixed with Germany’s Guildo Horn and with a wannabe Danny Saucedo for the chorus. What a sad outcome though! If I heard only the chorus I might like this a bit. But even the chorus is a tad old fashioned and sounds a bit like a Takasa rip-off. It is Eurovision-y — but with a cheap melody, one okay singer, a grandpa and some creepy lyrics. It’s sad and funny at the same time. Lord help them. (Patrick)

7. Zühlke – “Perfect Villain” (4.74)

Positive: Scratch the lyrics, keep the production, keep the voice. Zühlke has sassy powerful vocals and I’m beyond excited to see her on stage — I’m sure it will give life to this song. (Bernardo)

Negative: After giving a listen to Zühlke’s entry, I needed the X-Men to rescue me. She can do wonders with those vocals. But this song doesn’t fit her voice at all and the lyrics make no sense. Her song sounds promising in the first bridge, building and embracing power and darkness, but gets cheesy with all those Superman references. I’m kinda pissed! (Jordi)

8. My First Band – “Paradise” (4.74)

Positive: The music is on point and I like the singalong elements on the song, but the lyrics are just cringe. I really want to like this, as they have great stage presence and Antti has a nice, pleasant voice. (Sami)

Negative: There is always a point where innuendo crosses the line into sleaze and “Paradise” sails way past that line. The lyrics are ham-fisted and reminiscent of a child who has just learned a dirty joke — constantly repeating it and waiting for you to laugh. The problem is that I got the joke after the first 10 seconds, didn’t find it terribly funny, and still had to listen to it for another two-and-a-half minutes. (Forrest)

9. Club La Persé – “My Little World” (3.88)

Positive: Part of my criteria for assessing a potential Eurovision act is to ask “Would this act be fun to party with?” And in the case of Club La Persé, the answer is hell yeah! “My Little World” brings their chaotic, gender-bending club-kids scene to UMK, with an uplifting dance track. And regardless of how they sound live, the group’s strong visual aesthetic will be amazing at the UMK final. This song will annoy the heck out of people who like their Eurovision entries super serious, but for everyone else, the dance floor is this way. (Robyn)

Negative: “My little world is going nowhere”. I couldn’t have said it better. Club La Persé nail it visually, but their song falls very short. This needs much more punch: it should be catchy…but it’s not! If I saw Club La Persé at a club, I’d want to give it all on the dance floor, but with this song, I’d only sit back and have a drink. The closest act to this would be Denmark’s DQ in 2007. Both acts wanted to be the bomb, but they are no more than a firecracker. (Luis)

10. Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies – “Caveman” (1.71)

Positive: I listened to the audio version of “Cavemen” and focused strictly on the song. And it is not bad. The music in the background and the melody are fine, and I can see Knucklebone Oscar & The Shangri-La Rubies putting on a good cabaret-like, swing-flavoured show. (Jovana)

Negative: I can appreciate a novelty act if it makes me laugh, but “Caveman” makes me cringe. I genuinely feel bad for the poor artists who actually have talent that missed out on UMK this year over this garbage. I’ll be using this song as my toilet break this year. (Josh)

READ MORE FINLAND EUROVISION NEWS

179 Comments
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Nitzan
Nitzan
4 years ago

Well we need some songs not to pass to the ESC final, thanks Finland for volunteering.

I don’t even care to comment on Circle of Light’s performance, it was that bad.

Ananas
Ananas
4 years ago

Well… Congratulations to Norma John. Although I prefered Zühlke that song also has a potential to qualify. But hey! At least they didn’t pick a group of drag queens or a sex-desperate My First Band!

Chris (frostyw)
Chris (frostyw)
4 years ago

I think Finland might have gotten that right. I’m in love with Emma’s studio version of Circle of Light, but done live it just didn’t grab me. And although I really love Zühlke’s voice and delivery, that song just wasn’t right … well, for anything. With all of YLE’s resources behind Norma John, with some enhanced staging, perhaps they can slay in Kyiv.

KennyESC
KennyESC
4 years ago

WELL, FINLAND CAN JUST PISS OFF NOW. They had a great song and great singer(Zhulke), and have chosen this stupid thing, without even a meaning, boring and that doesn’t even build, it just repeats “BLEKKBORDD DONT SING ENIMORRRRRRR HURR DURR,,,,IUUUUUUHHH SEIHHHHH “for all the NOISE.

FINLAND WILL BE SECOND TO L A S T. (the last will be Ireland with Brendan IDrinkHelium and his Jigglypuff-y voice)

Avstriya
Avstriya
4 years ago

Blackbird was my first love of this season… I could not be happier right now and I am all in for Finland this year…..

12 points from Austria

stop that
stop that
4 years ago

I cant believe that. What a huge dissapointment worst song won!! Song which is so boring that I cant listen it at all.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

So, congratulations to Norma John!!
A funeral song from Finland to Eurovision… is this a potential dark horse to win, or a non-qualifier? See you in the next thread. 🙂

Drakula
Drakula
4 years ago

Oh YES! So happy right now! The best song and performance won! Congratulations and good luck to amazing Norma John!

Avstriya
Avstriya
4 years ago

Finally, Finland got it right. We have a favourite to win in Kyiv yall 😀

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

Congrats to Norma John!!!!!

eurovision6
eurovision6
4 years ago

Finland just blew their chances in Eurovision..

Bastian
Bastian
4 years ago

YESS No emma 🙂 Go Zuhlke, Go Norma John!!!

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

My First Band didn’t win the televote 😀

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

Here’s the televote….

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

Blackbird was magic!

Perfect Villain is a good alternative.

Circle of Light is a good song, but bad live, so please no.

Cai Pearson
Cai Pearson
4 years ago

@Purple Mask she will have to be up with lucie jones, tako and the other albanian girl Emma weak vocals show up like a sore thumb sorry just saying the truth

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago

YASSS William announce those votes!
I can’t quite understand all those points to Zühlke, that song screams nul points. On the other hand, Norma John’s song has grown on me a bit. But still… #TeamRakas! The music lovers and discerning people of Finland better have given Emma a huge amount of points as she deserves.

yikes
yikes
4 years ago

Norma had the jury from the start, but seeing Zuhlke so close, with Emma and My First Band (pre-vote winners) farther down, shows it could be a very close race with the televote. I’m hoping Zuhlke.

Leo M
Leo M
4 years ago

I hope someone can take the win from Norma John We have enough of boring ballads at Eurovision 2017 already Why is everyone trying to copy Jamala

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Krista Siegfrieds saying: “Bow down bitches!” Instant meme!! 🙂

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

The televote might give My First Band the most votes, but since Norma John has a huge lead over them so far (maybe not as far from Zuhlke), I can say that I am relieved and contented that Norma John may become the winner (but who knows).

Zack
Zack
4 years ago

Norma John is great vocalist, but Zühlke was giving everything I want in an eventful performance!! Zühlke let’s try and WIN 😀

Avstriya
Avstriya
4 years ago

William is an international celebrity now. And I am relieved the UK jury gave 12 to Norma John, despite the hype for Emma on Wiwi

KennyESC
KennyESC
4 years ago

Zhulke HAS to win!!

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Well done William, you’re a natural entertainer on camera. 🙂
Looks like Norma John might win; i’m quite relieved.

Drakula
Drakula
4 years ago

Wow, William!!!!!!! :)))))

M
M
4 years ago

OMG WILLIAM!!!!!!

Chris (frostyw)
Chris (frostyw)
4 years ago

Hi, William!!!

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

Omg William is the spokesperson for the U.K jury. 😀

donut donut
donut donut
4 years ago

Wow blackbird is taking flight! 3x douze points already!

eurovision6
eurovision6
4 years ago

the juries are such a joke..

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Oh wow, Norma John with an early lead!

Unofficial Mansters Association
Unofficial Mansters Association
4 years ago

Aaahhhhh, the voting already started.

Ananas
Ananas
4 years ago

Right now I have 4 picks that I think are the most probable to win. Emma, Norma John, Zühlke or Lauri. The others… I don’t think so. Alva dissapointed me with live performance singing like a typical high-pitched barbie girl Günther and that guy with him didn’t make a huge performance and showed weak vocals, Anni Saiku’s song for me is completely boring and lifeless, Kuncklebone Oscar – Yeah, no. Club la Persé – (read Knucklebone Oscar) + another lifeless performance, like they were forced to be on stage My First Band – annoying weak voice, annoying movements of the… Read more »

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

@Cai Pearson: Let’s be clear – Emma CAN sing live, she proved that in the last minute of her performance. But, she miscounted her entries twice and had to deal with other production problems (like the fire going out). It was a “car crash,” but she CAN sing live. She just had a really bad night. 🙁

ESCFan
ESCFan
4 years ago

@Cai: The studio version of the song was amazing, it’s not about uptempo songs, I tend to prefer ballads. Unfortunately there are not much other options 🙁

Paulo
Paulo
4 years ago

Cai Pearson: For some people it’s very hard to face the truth…

Cai Pearson
Cai Pearson
4 years ago

why the love for emma ? i thought she had the best studio version but live was awful ! people gotta stop pushing songs just because they are upbeat if you cant preform in the national final why would they trust her in eurovision? pick a act who can sing.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Not a fan of Juniors singing about “love,” and never will be. Sorry twins, but grow up first please. (From a former child singer.)

Drakula
Drakula
4 years ago

Overall it was a very weak national final. Was expecting much more.

ESCFan
ESCFan
4 years ago

I think if Emma wins she can improve. She is the only one of the bunch who can deliver Finland to a top 10. The rest will not even manage to get Finland through to the finals unfortunately 🙁

Edu
Edu
4 years ago

Man, UMK was TRASH!

eurovision6
eurovision6
4 years ago

My First Band were the best live and should be picked

Paulo
Paulo
4 years ago

TOP 3 (Random order): Zuhlke, Lauri, Anni.

Ola
Ola
4 years ago

Since My First Band will win, it´s quite safe to say we´re not heading for Helsinki 2018!

Colin
Colin
4 years ago

Vocally, basically anyone but Emma. I started to like 3 songs I used to dislike.

My picks – GUNTHER and NORMA JOHN!

PP
PP
4 years ago

My TOP 3
1.Norma
2.Lauri
3.My first band

Richard
Richard
4 years ago

For me it’s Norma John, Club LA Perce, Lauri, Gunther, Emma or Zuhlke in that order. Anything else will piss me off.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
4 years ago

Apart from Lauri (obviously), honestly my choice would be Norma. And I don’t even like funeral songs! What a crazy night this is!!
I fear that “My First Band” will win though

Chris (frostyw)
Chris (frostyw)
4 years ago

Zuhlke has a really great voice, but those lyrics still turn me off. 🙁